This week, a significant initiative of the European Union became reality. A reality for young Europeans and for Europe's values of solidarity: the European Solidarity Corps aims to reach 100,000 young people by the end of 2020.
Fighting youth unemployment is a top priority for the EU and concrete measures are necessary to make a difference on the ground. With the new European Solidarity Corps, participants aged 18-30 will have the opportunity to be placed with a project either for volunteering or for a traineeship, an apprenticeship or a job for a period between 2 and up to 12 months. They will engage in a broad range of activities such as education, health, social integration, assistance in the provision of food, shelter construction, reception, support and integration of migrants and refugees, environmental protection or prevention of natural disasters.
Regional Policy is very much in this initiative and I am glad to contribute to the broadening of new opportunities for young Europeans. I am proud to announce that the European Regional Development Fund will dedicate EUR 1 million to a specific initiative allowing young Europeans to volunteer in an Interreg cross-border, transnational or interregional programmes. They could participate as "Interreg project partners" working on concrete projects, or "Interreg reporters" supporting an Interreg programme in promoting concrete results of past projects.
Altogether, this initiative offers Europe's youth the opportunity to engage within their communities and further advance the European project. I truly believe that more solidarity will keep Europe together, support organizations around Europe and respond to societal challenges. I encourage young people to join the European Solidarity Corps to get a fantastic first-hand experience. It represents an exceptional chance to get the right training and to give formal recognition to the skills and experiences gained.